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Soccer Games That Were Interrupted by Fans

Soccer Games That Were Interrupted by Fans

Fans are an important part of soccer culture. In Germany, for example, fans have a decisive voice in shaping the team’s strategy. In some countries, the fans are aggressive and express their discontent by fighting, be it against their players or representatives of the opposing team.

Every year several fan-initiated incidents around the world interrupt soccer matches. In some incidents, the host side manages to come to an agreement with the crowd within 15 minutes and continue the match; in others – serious sanctions are imposed, up to disqualification of fans and stadium. Below are ten striking examples in which supporters forced the referees to cancel matches.

Slavia Prague vs Olomouc (5 May 2011)

One of the frequent causes of fans’ discontent is non-transparent management policy, empty promises, and lack of results. All three factors have worked out for the fans of Prague’s Slavia. Before the semifinals of the national cup, fans began to protest against the club’s out-of-control debts. About 1500 people broke onto the pitch and left only after long negotiations with Slavia’s players, who hadn’t been paid for a long time.The match started, but 45 minutes later, the fans returned. At halftime, spectators made their way to the center circle, shouting the slogan, “We want the truth. Long live Slavia.” Clashes with the Prague police began. As a result of the scuffle, the stadium equipment was damaged. Some fans even tried to attack Miroslav Platyl, the director of the Prague club. After the break, the teams did not take to the pitch.

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It is worth noting that top cricket betting sites also mentioned events when the situation got out of control, and the matches stopped. Bettors, at this point, lost a lot of money.

Deportivo Tachira v Atletico Venezuela (19 October 2012)

The reason for the fans’ discontent is ridiculous at the same time. The Venezuelan club Deportivo Tachira usually played their home matches in the traditional black and yellow uniform. This time the club management decided to support the “Month of Breast Cancer Awareness” campaign and dressed the players in special pink.

The home fans thought that such a performance was unacceptable. In the 40th minute, a large group of fans burst onto the lawn, began singing the Venezuelan national anthem, and waved their traditional yellow and black club shirts at the surprised players. Negotiations with the fans led to nothing: they refused to leave the field. The match had to be stopped.

Blackpool vs Huddersfield (May 5, 2015)

Blackpool fans remembered their favorites’ performances in the Premier League and watched with dismay the team’s rapid decline to the Football League. The club was owned by the Oyston family, who did nothing to ensure that the team overcame the crisis.

The protests began during the game against Reading in April 2015. Right in the course of the game, fans from the stands started launching fireworks, and eggs flew onto the field. A few weeks later, Blackpool fans increased the pressure on the owners even more.

On May 5, before the game against Huddersfield, more than 2,000 fans went on strike against Oyston. The protests began in front of the stadium and continued on the soccer field. In the 48th minute, hundreds of fans burst onto the soccer field and refused to leave. It took an hour to calm the crowd. Some of the strikers looked amused as they rode out onto the lawn on scooters and ate donuts from the local bakery.

Leyton Orient vs. Colchester (April 29, 2017)

A story similar to the events at Blackpool happened at Leyton Orient. It started with a sit-in protest by fans against owner Francesco Becchetti, who had dragged the club into the National League and brought the team to the brink of extinction.

At the end of the game, fans made their way onto the turf. After much persuasion and assurances from the fans that the meeting was over, the fans left the confines of the stadium. It turned out to be just a trick. After the last protester left, EFL officials ordered the match to go on and end.

Santos vs. Independiente (August 29, 2018)

The first match between Independiente and Santos in the 2018 Libertadores Cup produced a strange situation. Back then, the rivals played out a goalless draw. A few hours before the return game, the organizers announced that Santos was scored a technical defeat (0:3). The reason was the player who was not supposed to be on the pitch. The player in question was Carlos Sanchez, who was banned from playing in the Libertadores Cup back in 2015 when he played for River Plate. Interestingly, previously Comnebol had no claims against Sanchez, and he could play.

So, Santos was punished with a 0-3 defeat, which made the fans furious. Before the start of the match, clashes with the police began outside the stadium. Fans lit flares and deliberately threw them at the Independiente players. The police were only able to pacify the spectators with rubber truncheons and stun grenades.

Grasshoppers – Sion (March 16, 2019)

The reason for the protests at Grasshoppers was due to the club’s constantly falling results. Four years before the events, the club made it to the Champions League and the following year to the Europa League group. In March 2019, the Swiss team was on the verge of relegation from the elite division.

The meeting with Sion had to be canceled after a mass launch of firecrackers on the field from the stands. A few months later, Grasshoppers crashed to a crucial defeat at home to Zurich (0-4). The fans chased their team to the corner flag and ordered them to take off their shirts and not to dishonor the club’s honor. The punishment had no effect: the club was relegated from the top division.

Hoffenheim vs. Bayern (February 29, 2020)

A rare moment when the protests were staged by fans of the visiting team and were not related to the results. Germany has a “50+1” rule, under which the majority of club ownership belongs to fan associations.

The situation was as follows:

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  • several clubs, such as RB Leipzig, tried to overturn the rule;
  • businessman Dietmar Hopp was the sole owner of Hoffenheim;
  • hopp did not stop trying to break the traditional German system.

With the score at 6-0 in favor of Bayern Munich, banners displaying foul language about Hopp appeared in the Munich fans’ section. In protest against the behavior of the spectators, the players simply rolled the ball between them for 13 minutes, refusing to attack. That meeting was not interrupted, but the ending resembled a farce.

Marseille v Rennes (January 30, 2021)

The multinational army of Marseille fans stands out for their aggressiveness in Ligue 1. The long-running protest in early 2021 was due to the club’s poor results and the owners’ refusal to rectify the situation. After weeks of verbal altercations, the torsade went on the attack.

The rioting at the match began with the beating of defender Alvaro, who was robbed in the process.

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Police intervened and arrested 25 of the 300 protesters. The game against Rennes was never finished.

Manchester United vs. Liverpool (February 5, 2021)

MJ fans have long had a complicated relationship with the American owners of the club, the Glazer family. Fans occasionally vent their anger at matches, but the confrontation peaked at the crucial encounter with Liverpool. In May 2021, it emerged that the Glazers were lobbying for a European Super League in hopes of lining their pockets with money to the detriment of other teams in the AFL.

The protests began hours before the game. Fans blocked the team at Old Trafford. Several hundred fans ran out onto the turf, loudly shouting slogans against the Glazers. At first, the unrest seemed peaceful, but the degree of confrontation grew. The police and authorities had no choice but to postpone the match.

Italy vs. Serbia (October 12, 2010)

Clashes occur not only at club matches but also at national team games. Fans from Serbia are considered among the most aggressive in Europe. The Balkans have distinguished themselves at an away game of their national team in the Italian city of Genoa. Events unfolded as follows:

  • The fans attacked the goalkeeper of their team as the team was leaving the bus near the stadium.
  • A few minutes before the starting whistle, the Serbs put up a banner line with nationalist overtones.
  • After the starting whistle, massive flares started coming from the Balkan stand.

The referee had to interrupt the game already in the 8th minute. Water cannons were brought to the stadium, but it did not calm down the Serbs. After the match had been called off, the Balkans continued to rampage in the streets of Genoa. In total, more than 20 people were injured that day. As a result of the incident, both the Serbian (120 thousand euros) and the host Italian Football Federation (100 thousand euros) were fined.